Transport Strike In Delhi-NCR Today Against Amended Motor Vehicles Act; Many Schools To Remain Shut

Around 50,000 transport vehicles are expected to stay off the roads between morning 6 am to 10 pm.

Transport Strike In Delhi-NCR Today Against Amended Motor Vehicles Act; Many Schools To Remain Shut
Image: PTI
By: ABP News Bureau
Updated: 19 Sep 2019 07:35 AM
New Delhi: Transport associations in Delhi-NCR region have called for a strike on Thursday to protest against the sharp hike in traffic penalities under the new Motor Vehicles Act. The strike called by almost 34 associations of autos, taxis, private school buses, maxi cabs, OLA and Uber cabs, cluster buses under STA, Gramin Seva and large commercial vehicles from morning 6 am to 10 pm. Around 50,000 transport vehicles are expected to stay off the roads.

According to reports, schools have sent an advisory to parents informing them of the holiday due to transport strike on Thursday.

The decision has been taken by the United Front of Transport Associations to highlight issues including hiked penalties, Section 44AE of Income Tax Act, Rs 5 lakh cap on payment of vehicular insurance by insurance companies and also legislations on the health insurance of drivers.

In a press conference, the Noida Transport United Front also called for a strike on Thursday alongside cab associations, CNG auto associations and bus operators. "For September 19 all companies have been notified that cab services will be affected. We have listed some demands. The government is not ready to listen to our demands, so we have no other choice but to go on strike," stated Noida cabs association president Yogesh Verma.

Two of the unions representing commercial fleet operators, All India Motor Transport Congress (AIMTC) and United Front of Transport Associations (UFTA), have expressed their grief and disagreement on hefty fines being imposed at a time of economic slowdown.

The strike has been called as a protest against the hefty penalties and limiting third party liability of insurance that have come into force under the new Motor Vehicles Act.

The newly imposed MV Act has stipulated hefty penalties including fines and punishments for those found violating traffic rules. Union Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari had, however, defended the move and described it as one of the biggest achievements of the NDA 2.0.

Even Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal supported Centre over the implementation of the new Act. However, after receiving complaints from various transport union, Kejriwal promised to look into issues that disturb the people. Hundreds of drivers and commercial vehicle owners gathered around Noida Stadium earlier this week and announced their decision to support the strike call on Thursday.

"We have been seeking redressal of our grievances related to the new MV Act from both the Centre and the Delhi government for the last 15 days, but no solution is there is sight forcing us to go on one-day strike," said UFTA general secretary Shyamlal Gola told news agency PTI.

The UFTA is an umbrella body representing 41 associations and unions of goods and passenger segments including trucks, buses, autos, tempos, maxi-cabs and taxis plying in the Delhi-NCR region. "The exorbitant and unviable penalties imposed through the amended Motor Vehicle Act 2019 has increased the corruption, high handedness and harassment of vehicle owners and drivers," Gola alleged.

The federation leaders demanded withdrawing of the provisions of the amended Act such as steeply hiked penalties and limiting liability of insurer to Rs 5 lakh, among others. However, President Delhi Taxi Tourist Transporters Association Sanjay Samrat said they will not be part of the strike.

Under the new MV law, two-wheeler rider can be penalised with a fine of Rs 2,000 and/or jailed for up to three months for the first time if found driving an uninsured vehicle. If found doing so for the second time, he/she will face a fine of Rs 4,000 and/or imprisonment of up to three months.

Adding to it, if someone is caught driving without a licence, the person will have to pay a fine of Rs 5,000. Even the penalty for over-speeding has been increased from Rs 1,000 to Rs 4,000 now. If found travelling in state transport buses without a ticket, a fine of Rs 500 will be levied.

(with inputs from agencies)